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Crash test rules are getting tougher


European new car crash test rules (Euro NCAP) will get stricter from next year

NCAP says it will subject vehicles to a much tougher and more comprehensive assessment, and says vehicles without ESC (electronic stability control) won’t be able to achieve a five-star rating, the highest possible.

NCAP says statistics show ESC plays such a major role in reducing road deaths and no car should achieve five stars without it.

From 2009, NCAP will introduce a new five-star single overall vehicle safety rating replacing the current star ratings which began in 1997.

It says the new rating will provide the simplest and clearest advice to consumers about a vehicle’s overall safety performance.

It will compile the rating by adding up the scores achieved in four areas: adult occupant, child occupant, pedestrian protection and a new area, safety assist.

Safety assist will allow Euro NCAP to consider driver assistance systems and active safety technologies, which are becoming increasingly important in avoiding accidents and reducing injuries.

NCAP says the new scheme will give it the means to drive vehicle safety forwards and reduce road casualties.

Results of the first tests under the new rating system will be released in February 2009.

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